5 Essential Muscles to Stretch After Sitting All Day

by | Jan 13, 2021 | Health & Wellness | 0 comments

You’ve been sitting at work for almost 8 hours now. Then, you’ll sit in your car as your drive home. You will sit down again for dinner, and maybe to watch TV after. How many hours of sedentary sitting is that? 10? 12? More?

All the while, you keep leaning from one side to the other, switching from one uncomfortable position to the other. It’s as if you need to unhinge your back for a moment to relieve the stiffness. Are you rusting so early in life?

Leave the Problems on the Chair

You may think it’s okay to suffer through staying glued to your desk all day – there is so much to do! And a varicose vein or two never killed anybody…
But, according to research, this habit can cause chronic diseases in the long run.

Your body is like a river. If you stop the flowing motion long enough, it turns into a puddle of decay.

In other words: keep it moving = stretch your life = live in the joy that you are deciding how your life will be.

One study shows that over 50 million Americans lead sedentary lives. Can you guess the results? Let me tell you, they are not pretty – higher risk of cardiovascular disease, spinal damage, migraines, high blood pressure, herniated discs, and the list goes on…but, enough with the painful prospects for your future.

The Instant Solution

I can hear you blaming your boss for not getting you a stand-up desk, and I feel you. That’s why I commend you on taking your health into your own hands, instead of dropping that responsibility unto someone else.

You can easily avoid the back’s nerves displacement and crunching (Ouuuch! I had to mention that one) with a few stretches on the right muscles. If you have more excuses than you have time to exercise, or even if you already exercise, these movements will blend easily into your day.

The 2 for 1 Health Boost

As busy as you are, I’m sure you can dedicate 2 minutes of stretching for every hour of sitting. I know you crave your well-deserved break from work. You will than yourself for the improved mental clarity.

When you are tempted to say that you have too much on your list to relieve muscle cramps, ask yourself: how much pain it will take for me to make my health a priority?

If you still need a little push, this study sheds some light onto the benefits of interrupting your sitting.

At last, here are the essential muscles to show yourself some love every day. With each one, you will find a simple exercise to counteract the damage from sitting for too long.

5 Essential Muscles to Stretch After Sitting All Day

1) Pectoralis muscles:

These are the muscles on your chest! Open them up to counteract slouching and bending over your computer. Stretching this group prevents headaches, neck tension, and shoulder blade pain.

Yummy Stretch:

  1. Interlace your fingers behind your back.
  2. Gently straighten your arms, letting your elbow’s inner creases rotate outwards
  3. Feel your shoulder blades tuck in and open up your chest
  4. Look up to the sky – breathe deeply

2) Hip Flexors:

When you sit for too long, your hips shorten. Your pelvis may pull forward or backwards, or slant on one side. Giving your hip flexors some love will help realign your short leg (the reason you step harder with one foot).

Yummy Stretch:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  2. Move one foot forward
  3. Bend your knee forward until it aligns with your ankle
  4. Stretch your back leg, keeping a soft bend on the knee
  5. Keep your hips squared and your chest open
  6. Repeat on the other side

3) Piriformis

Prevent shooting pains down your legs, also known as sciatic pain. This small muscle is located behind your glutes. When well-kept, it allows you to move your hips, legs, and feet.

Yummy Stretch:

  1. Lay down on a mat with your knees bent
  2. Bring your knees towards your face
  3. Cross the left ankle over the right knee
  4. Interlace your fingers behind the right thigh
  5. Keep both feet flexed
  6. Gently pull the right leg towards your face
  7. Keep your head relaxed on the ground
  8. Release and repeat on right side

4) Trapezius

Stretching these muscles will give you more relief than rubbing your neck. It will help reverse forward neck, improve your overall posture, and unclench your jaw.

Yummy Stretch:

  1. Roll a towel or blanket into a cannoli shape
  2. Lay down on your back, your bed is fine
  3. Place your improvised pillow under your neck
  4. Let your head relax backwards
  5. Close your eyes and enjoy

5) Calf Muscles

Give them some action to prevent painful varicose veins in years to come. Maybe your legs are screaming for some cramp relief. Whatever your reasons, you will love the improvement in quality sleep!

Yummy Stretch:

  1. Lay unto your back with your knees bent
  2. Stretch the right leg up into the air
  3. Interlace your fingers behind the right thigh
  4. Gently pull towards the leg towards your face
  5. Flex and unflex the right foot
  6. Release and repeat on the left side

Tell us what you do to relieve stiffness after prolonged sitting! Share your favorite stretches in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!


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